USA (24 January 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, today met with Leonard Peltier at the federal penitentiary located in Coleman, Florida where Mr. Peltier is incarcerated.
Mr. Peltier is an activist and leader in the American Indian Movement and was convicted in 1977 following the deaths of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during a clash on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. After a trial that has been criticized by many as involving numerous due process problems, Mr. Peltier was sentenced to two life sentences for murder, and has been denied parole on various occasions. Pleas for presidential consideration of clemency by notable individuals and institutions have not borne fruit.
In his 2012 report, “The situation of indigenous peoples in the United States of America“, Professor Anaya recommended that measures of reconciliation with the country’s indigenous peoples should include efforts to identify and heal particular sources of open wounds that they continue to experience, including new or renewed consideration for clemency for Leonard Peltier.